Megan Barber, 303 Magazine, Happiest Hour, Denver, Happy Hour in Denver, Jonesy's Eat Bar,

What: Jonesy’s Eat Bar

Where: 400 E. 20th Ave., Denver, CO 80205

When: Happy Hour is from 3:00-6:00 pm every day.

Pros: Many of the cocktails are well-balanced and a good value.

Cons: Service is hit or miss and the food doesn’t live up to the hype.

I wanted to like Jonesy’s Eat Bar. It’s been recommended to me plenty of times and I love the whole “gastropub” concept. But on my most recent trip for happy hour, it was a disappointing experience. I arrived and managed to catch a seat in a booth across from the bar. The ambiance was nice and the crowd lively. But when the server arrived, things started to go downhill. Throughout happy hour I had to flag down our server who seemed too busy to take our food order, bring another round of drinks, or give us the check. When I asked for recommendations, I received a blank look, shrug, and a muttered, “Everything is good.”

The cocktails were good, at least. At $2 off all house specialty cocktails, I particularly enjoyed the Colorado Manhattan and the African G & T, ($6) made with a tamarind and orange infused Caprock gin, tonic, and lime. If you don’t feel like cocktails there are plenty of other happy hour drink options. Quite a few $5 wines by the glass looked enticing and there are select Colorado craft beers for $3.50. If I return to Jonesy’s Eat Bar it will likely be to grab a drink and enjoy the well-decorated bar.

The food, however, does not warrant a return. To be fair, I only tried the “World Famous Fries” and the sliders. Perhaps the other items on their extensive happy hour list are better. But  although the Truffle fries were decent, the (allegedly award-winning) Bacon Mac and Cheese fries were disappointing. Made with what tasted like cheese whiz, the fries came out as a luke-warm soggy mess unappealingly piled on top of a platter. I am always willing to look past a few flaws in a restaurant, but unfortunately the sliders weren’t much better. The Bacon Bleu Burger and the Good Ole’ Cheeseburger had well-cooked meat (if not much else), but the Turkey Burger slider was dry and unappetizing. Even worse was the Lamby Joe. Gamey and overpowering, my table left most of this slider on the plate. I’m all for comfort food and even indulging in some fries and a greasy burger. But the fries/sliders combo at Jonesy’s Eat Bar just didn’t hold up to its reputation.

Nothing ruins a happy hour experience faster than sub-par service and disappointing food. So while the cocktails may be worth a trip to Jonesy’s Eat Bar, I won’t be back for much else. This Curtis Park hot spot has plenty of neighborhood fans, but compared to many of the happy hours around Denver, it falls a little flat.

-All photos by Megan Barber